JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJTV) – The TaxSlayer Bowl featured two quarterbacks on opposite ends of the spectrum.
There was one making his first career start in Mississippi State’s Keytaon Thompson. And then one of college football’s best players in 2016 Heisman winner and 2017 finalist Lamar Jackson of Louisville.
The side with the true freshman ended up pulling out a turnover-filled affair in Jacksonville, as the Bulldogs picked off Jackson four times on their way to a 31-27 win. Junior defensive back Mark McLaurin had three of those interceptions.
Thompson shined on Saturday, doing most of his damage on the ground. He rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 127 yards through the air with an interception.
Part of the reason Louisville’s star quarterback made some mistakes was Mississippi State’s pressure. MSU sacked Jackson six times, with each of those coming in the second half.
The win gives Mississippi State its third nine-win season (9-4) in four years after a hectic period. Interim head coach Greg Knox, along with multiple assistants in new positions, led the team after former head coach Dan Mullen left for Florida, taking assistants with him.
New Bulldog head coach Joe Moorhead was in Jacksonville for the bowl game, but did not take part in it.
Click the video above to watch highlights and a report from WJTV 12’s TJ Werre.